On The Mark by Mark Mayer | Sidney Ponson is one of only three major league players to come from Aruba, where after the 2003 season he was made a knight by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. How’s that for "under the radar" information?
We like Sir Sidney, especially since his starts have gone 4-1 over the total. Ponson is a well traveled pitcher (Baltimore twice, San Francisco, St. Louis, NY Yanks, Minnesota and currently Texas). His lifetime record is 82-101 with a 4.93 ERA. The over dominates his resume.
Ponson didn’t make his Texas debut until April 26 in a 12-6 loss to Minnesota. Lo and behold, Sir Sidney was involved in a three-run total, but then went back in form with combined totals of 11, 18 and 24 runs. The Rangers won that last matchup with the Astros 16-8 after blowing an 8-2 lead. Hey, as long as Sidney’s starts keep trashing the projected total, we’re collecting.
Sidney’s next appearance figures to be another matchup with the Twins on Wednesday or Thursday at Minneapolis. We’re licking our over chops.
Looking for diversity in home and road starts? Jared Weaver is your man. In his five road starts, the opposition teams scored 29 runs compared to 10 in five home starts. The Angels are just 4-6 in Weaver’s outings, so our advice is to play the under when Jared faces a quality starter in Anaheim.
We mentioned last week how Seattle is baseball’s biggest disappointment. So don’t blame Felix Hernandez if he wants to be traded. The M’s are 4-6 when Felix pitches and, incredibly, Seattle has been favored in all 10 of his starts.
On the flip side is Pittsburgh lefty Phil Dumatrait. In his four starts, Pittsburgh beat Washington 11-4, San Francisco 3-1 and St. Louis 8-4 in 10 innings. He did lose 4-3 to the Cubs last Sunday, this is still a bet-on pitcher sure to get some nice underdog prices.
The Yankees are in last place in the American League East and Tampa Bay was first. Perhaps the world is flat. Take heart Yankees fans, the under is 29-13-2, including four straight with the Rays.
Finally, we had two extremes in run lines. San Diego’s Jake Peavy was involved in his fourth 6½-run total. Each time the result went below the total.
And a few days ago, there was a season-high 12½ involving San Diego’s Shawn Estes and Chicago’s Jason Marquis with the wind-blowing out at Wrigley Field. The final? Padres, 4-3.
The bottom line: Avoid all those inflated run totals.