NBA, baseball going at full speed ahead

April 24, 2001 8:09 AM
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NBA

NBA playoffs are so spaced out that by the time the finals are played it will take as long as the regular season.

Eight teams have one game up on the opposition.

Indiana, Charlotte, Utah and San Antonio won on Saturday, Sunday, Knicks, Phoenix, Milwaukee and the L.A. Lakers garnered a victory.

Indiana, Charlotte, and Phoenix all are underdogs that surprised their opponents. The second game of series will spell the difference. Lakers, our choice to win it all, meet San Antonio for the Western title; 76ers are still the favorite in the East, though it looks like there is a bit of hard work in front of them.

Baseball

Strange names are leading their respective divisions in Major League baseball. Phillies, Cubs, Twins, Red Sox among the mystery leaders; how long will that last?

Games for week ending April 29:

Montreal Expos at Milwaukee Brewers: Brewers and Expos luck turned bad when they hit the road. One of them will change soon. With Brewers pitching versus Expos hitting, look for the totals to go over in this hitter friendly park. Going for the overs with the exception of the (probable) Vasquez, Jamey Wright match-up.

Florida Marlins at Houston Astros: Astros tailed off after opening week. Marlins have played better than .500 at home and on the road under that magic number. Ryan Dempster who has been lights out at home could have a problem here.

N.Y. Mets at St. Louis Cardinals: Mets maybe turning things around; too good a team to be floundering under .500. Kevin Appier and Rick Reed win two against a sub- par Cardinal team who miss Mark McGwire.

Cincinnati Reds at Colorado Rockies: Reds run appears to be about over, if not, will be in Colorado. Rockies, playing better on the road in the early going, are doubly strong at home. Mike Hampton, Danny Neagle earn their bonuses in this series.

Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks: Braves having mucho problems with the stick, run into Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Chalk up two losses for Atlanta no matter who pitches for the Braves.

Pittsburgh Pirates at San Diego Padres: Both teams going nowhere in a hurry. Padres better of the two at this stage of the season. Woody Williams and Adam Eaton win a couple.

Philadelphia Phillies at L.A. Dodgers: Phillies head West versus San Diego and L.A. before meeting Rockies and Giants at home. Phillies have to be feeling good about themselves after beating Greg Maddux Saturday. Look for Robert Person and Omar Daal for two victories.

Chicago Cubs at S.F. Giants: Cubs run could be about over, or will they be a serious contender for the N.L. Central crown? Me thinks cold weather back East helped Cub pitching; will change in San Francisco. Take Sean Estes and Livan Hernandez to wreak havoc.

Oakland Athletics at N.Y. Yankees: A’s have been stumbling, Yanks not doing much better outside of Andy Pettite and the Yankee bullpen, pitching has been poor. Look for a turnaround in New York’s fortunes when Mike Mussina and Roger Clemens get hot. Going with Mussina and Clemens in this series.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Detroit Tigers: Tigers running into a bit of bad luck; however, that will be a thing of the past on this home stand. Dave Mlicki and Jeff Weaver spark Detroit on the road back.

Texas Rangers at Cleveland Indians: The weather should warm up in Cleveland. Hitters will take over with high scoring games the norm, especially when Rick Helling and Ryan Glynn take the mound for Texas. Double play should Chuck Finley and Dave Burba be their mound opponents.

Anaheim Angels at Toronto Blue Jays: Blue Jays have been getting away with spotty pitching and heavy hitting. How long will that "Dog" hunt? Look for the Angels to score some runs here and take two of three with Scott Schoeneiweis and Ramon Ortiz on the mound.

K.C. Royals at Boston Red Sox: Royals have come on hard times and likely to stay that way all season. Royals bats have been silent; will end in Fenway. Red Sox pitching has looked good. How long will that last? High scoring series here with exception of game Pedro Martinez pitches, over in the total of the other two games.

Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins: Break up the Twins? Not yet. Minnesota good fortune keeps going in this series. Joe Mays and Eric Milton shine here.

Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox: Mariners’ pitching has given them a 5½-game lead in the A.L. West. Mariners much better than over-rated White Sox who fell on their face versus Seattle in the playoffs. David Wells vs. Freddy Garcia ideal match-up, going with Wells in other games going with Jamie Moyer and John Halama.