Flashpoints in baseball

Apr 2, 2002 6:16 AM

To make money this season betting baseball, some teams need to improve major flaws.

Opening lines for daily matchups in both the AL and NL are determined mostly by  the projected starting pitchers. Of course, scheduling, weather and injuries are  constantly watched. Last year, the GT staff kept close tabs on how teams fared per $100 bet. Here are some of  the trends to watch in the first few weeks.

Atlanta (—$2,530 vs RHP at  home). Gary Sheffield was the big off-season addition, but he merely adds another right-handed hitter to a lineup that struggled mightily last year against right-handers. We still can’t believe that figure. The Cincinnati Reds were —2510.

Florida (+1730 vs RHP at home). Another baffling total, although the Marlins were not favored in many games. Cliff Floyd must repeat his stellar 2001 numbers.

San Diego (+1490 vs LHP on the road). Sean Burroughs adds a projected .300 hitter to a promising cast that includes Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko.

Pittsburgh (—2110 vs RHP on the road). Aramis Ramirez and Jason Kendall and Brian Giles  form a nice nucleus, but the Bucs  need big years from pickups Pokey Reese and Armando Rios to dent the anemic numbers against lefty pitching.

Toronto (+1210 vs RHP on the road). The Jays are stronger from the right side of the plate, but their top RBI man is lefty Carlos Delgado. Seattle was the best in baseball at +2950).

NY Yankees (+1535 vs RHP at home). The short right field porch has always favored the Yanks and their predominantly lefty order. Jason Giambi is now in the mix. That’s money.

Boston (—905 vs LHP at home). Blame that stunning figure on the lengthy injury to Nomar Garciaparra. With the Boston SS healthy and hitting well, look for the Red Sox to abuse the Green Monster.

Detroit (—1355 vs RHP  on the road). The Tigers added Dmitri Young to replace Tony Clark at first base. Maybe Young and Bobby Higginson will turn that number around.