Past 6 Days

Apr 29, 2003 5:34 AM

Hail Caesar, Esposito scores!

Chuck Esposito at Caesars Palace has come up with a clever and entertaining proposition regarding the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers, which should have interest throughout the year.

On April 23, the Tigers were —8½ (—115) to post more losses than Yankees victories over the entire season. In the past four days, money has come in on New York. The new odds are Detroit —7½ (even) and the Yanks +7½ (—130), down from —115. Both teams must play at least 152 games during the regular season.

Basically the bet is this: If the Tigers lose 110 games, the Yankees would have to win 103 to reward New York bettors. "We put the prop up thinking it should get some interesting PR," Âí­Esposito told GT’s Richard Saber. "We have gotten pretty good reaction so far."

Through Sunday’s results, it was Yankees 20 wins, Tigers 20 losses. Our money is firmly on the Yanks. The +7½ appears a steal.

No-no means yes

Philadelphia right-hander Kevin Millwood tossed the first no-hitter of the year and his Âí­career in a 1-0 win over the NL West leading San Francisco Giants.

Millwood and first baseman Jim Thome were the key offseason acquisitions for the Phillies, who at 15-10 are near the top of a jam-packed Eastern Division. Jesse Foppert, the hard-luck loser, fell to 0-2.

Millwood is now 4-1 and appears to be the stopper Philly has long needed on the starting staff, taking a lot of the heat off lefty Randy Wolf. Do you think Atlanta wishes Millwood stayed and Greg Maddux left?

First starts favor D’backs

Brandon Webb fanned 10 and pitched seven scoreless innings against the Mets in his major league debut. Webb was then sent to Triple-A Tucson to make room for Randy Johnson’s return from the DL.

But that’s not the whole story. Bettors should note first-time pitchers in Arizona’s six-year history are now a whopping 23-7. Remember that the next time the D’backs start someone you’ve never heard of.

As for Johnson, he fanned 12 in six innings to gain his first victory in the nightcap. With Schilling back this week, Byung Hyun Kim shining as a starter and Matt Mantei regaining confidence as the closer, look for Arizona to have a profitable next six days.

Angels "starting" to worry us

Yes it’s early, and Anaheim did begin poorly last year, but there is cause for concern if you are an Angels fan. The starting rotation is getting torched. The Angels have pitching talent, but mostly in the bullpen. Oakland and Seattle are better.

Mark Mayer