Between the Lines by Kevin Stott | For my money, the LA Dodgers are baseball’s most unimposing team.
To go out in the offseason and spend $36.2 million for two years of Andruw Jones (The Human Strikeout Machine) and covet a manager like Joe Torre, has accomplished nothing for the team in terms of helping them to win games. Geez, do I miss the Dodger Blue-bleeding Tommy Lasorda.
Let’s check this week for trends.
Starts Tuesday, June 10
Braves at Cubs: Atlanta went 2-1 at Wrigley Field last year in games averaging 10.3 runs but this year’s Chop Shoppers are an NL-worst 7-21 on the road, have lost 10 of 13 away from home and are 0-13 in one-run games on the road.
Polar opposites, the Cubs have MLB’s best record (40-24), the NL’s best home slate (26-8) and a streak of 11 wins in 14 games at press time, the team’s best streak in seven years. Toss in a 14-2 roll in its last 16 in the Friendly Confines and an MLB-high .286 batting average and 346 run scored (2nd in MLB behind Texas with 347) and it’s easy to see why backing the CUBS in these three is the Rx.
Dodgers at Padres (Tue-Thu): San Diego went 4-2 in LA last year but 1-2 so far vs. the Dodgers at PETCO in 2008. Because the Dodgers have scored just 16 runs in their last 11 losses (1.45 RPG), taking the UNDER in this series as well as an undervalued PADRES team at home (19 Tony Gwynn Way, San Diego, CA, 92101) seems worth the shot.
BONUS: RED SOX over Orioles; BLUE JAYS over Mariners.
Starts Friday, June 13
Red Sox at Reds: Interleague play returns and no one is better (12-6, 2007; 3-0, 2008) than the World Champs. Cincinnati has been solid at home (19-10) and is also undefeated in Interleague this season (3-0). But the RED SOX are the lean here despite the games being played in the Queen City and Boston’s poor road record (14-20). Avoid taking the Red Sox when Edinson Volquez (8-2, 1.32 ERA) hurls for Cincy. Take the UNDER instead.
Rockies at White Sox (Fri-Sun):Having lost 19 of 23 away from Coors (although winning the last two) Colorado (10-24 overall road), is always average at altitude. And with Tulowitzki, Hawpe and Barmes hurt, the chances of winning are even worse. On the south side of Chicago (you know, the baddest part of town) the Pale Hose have been atop the AL Central thanks in part to a 19-9 record at US Cellular Field. Logically, the WHITE SOX, 3-0 in Interleague (4-14 LY), are the call here.
BONUS: TIGERS over LA Dodgers; ANGELS over Braves.