The San Francisco Giants are riding the crest of a wave as they head into the World Series although the betting suggests they have their work cut out as the Detroit Tigers have been installed as the 10/17 favourites.
The Giants, priced at 6/4 to win with bet365, managed to come from 3-1 down in the National League Championship Series against defending champions St Louis Cardinals, reeling off three straight games to book their place in the Fall Classic.
The manner of Monday night’s victory was perhaps a little closer than the scoreline suggests but a five-run third inning proved pivotal in what turned out to be an emphatic 9-0 victory.
The Orange and Black managed to win a record-equalling sixth elimination game of the post-season and, although they are taking nothing for granted, Giants’ Barry Zito believes that the fact that they have been playing all-or-nothing baseball could help them get off to a good start in the World Series.
“I just know it’s different when you’re taking BP every day than when you’re playing NLCS games down to the last game,” Zito said.
“Our nerves are at the height of how they can be right now. But don’t sleep on these guys. They’re an incredible team.
“They played very well against New York. We’re not taking anything for granted at this point.”
Only on three previous occasions has the World Series featured a team who swept a Championship Series against a team that was pushed all the way to a Game 7 – and each has been won by the less-rested team.
The St Louis Cardinals (3/1 to win World Series with bet365) stunned the baseball world and threw the betting for the World Series wide open after eliminating the favourite Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 to clinch the National League Division Series 3-2.
Chris Carpenter threw a three-hit shutout to seal the surprise win after Skip Schumaker scored with an RBI double in the first inning on the back of Rafael Furcal’s lead-off triple.
Eight scoreless innings followed much to the delight of the Cardinals, who will now meet the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Championship Series (Brewers 10/13 favourites, Cardinals 11/10 National League Outright).
The Brewers came through in their own five-game thriller and needed a 10th inning against the Arizone Diamondbacks to confirm their place with just their second playoff series victory in their history, and first for 29 years.
The Diamondbacks led after the third inning before the Brewers level in the fourth and took the lead in the sixth after Yuniesky Betancourt’s two-out single.
Willie Bloomquist tied the game in the ninth to force the extras inning and it was Nyjer Morgan who etched himself in Brewers history with the winning run.
Game one of the series gets underway on Sunday with Milwaukee playing host to St Louis at Miller Park.
San Francisco Giants (now 8/13 favourites with Stan James in the outright betting) outfielder Cody Ross says that he and his team-mates are happy to prove the critics wrong after coming out on top 11-7 in a surprising slugfest in Game One of the World Series against Texas Rangers (5/4) at AT&T Park on Wednesday night.
Many had expected a tight affair with two Cy Young award-winning pitchers on the mound, Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee.
But it turned into an offensive duel that perhaps surprisingly went in the Giants favour – easily their biggest total in the post-season and made a mockery of their .231 batting average and 3.0 scoring average in their previous 10 post-season games.
“We don’t have the most talented line-up, we don’t have the most superstars, but we have a lot of heart,” Ross said.
“We like the fact that nobody really gives us a chance and we feed on that.”
The Rangers had led 2-0 early on but Freddy Sanchez doubled three times in the first five innings before knocking Lee – who endured his first post-season loss – out in a tremendous six-run fifth innings, propelled by Juan Uribe’s three-run homer.
Bengie Molina and Mitch Moreland dragged the score back to 8-4 before both sides scored three runs off the other’s bullpen to give the Giants the early advantage.
Game Two takes place at AT&T Park on Thursday night with Matt Cain charged with the task of doubling the Giants’ (8/11 with Stan James in the match betting) lead, while CJ Wilson will be out to restore parity for the Rangers (Evens).
Tags: baseball betting, baseball world series, baseball world series odds, bengie molina, cj wilson, cliff lee, cody ross, cy young, freddy sanchez, juan uribe, matt cain, mitch moreland, san francisco giants, texas rangers, tim lincecum
MLB Major League Baseball | Baseball Betting News | October 28, 2010 15:57 |
Texas Rangers (11/10 in Match Prices with stanjames.com) go in search of a two-game lead in the American League Divisional Seres tonight at Tropicana Field after pitcher Cliff Lee pinched one on the road in Tampa (10/13).
Lee was dominant in seven strong innings, outpitching Devil Rays starter and AL Cy Young candidate David Price to lead Texas to a 5-1 win.
After loading the bases in the first inning, Lee walked off the mound with ten strikeouts and just two hits allowed.
The Rays’ only score came from Ben Zobrist’s solo home run in the seventh inning, which came after a stretch where Lee retired 16 of 17 batters.
The Rangers took the lead in the second inning with runs batted in from Jeff Francoeur and Bengie Molina.
The veteran catcher Molina and Nelson Cruz hit solo home runs and Vladimir Guerrero doubled home Josh Hamilton to round off the win.
Game two is tonight in Tampa with CJ Wilson taking the ball for Texas and James Shields starting for Tampa.
After improving his postseason record to 5-0, Lee did not have time for personal accolades.
“It’s not time to sit here and pat myself on the back,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do.
“I feel good about helping us get off to a good start, and hopefully I can continue to do the same. That’s what I expect to do.”
Texas Rangers (5/1 to win MLB American League with Bet365) slugger Josh Hamilton is set to miss most of his team’s run-in to the regular season pennant chase because of broken bones in his ribcage.
The American League West-leading Rangers are seven games clear of the chasing Oakland Rangers going into the final few weeks of the 162-game schedule, but will have to cope without Hamilton for most of it.
Hamilton was hurt when he slammed into the centrefield wall in Minnesota earlier this month and a timeframe for the return of their star was not initially forthcoming from Texas.
Hamilton, the Major League’s leading hitter with a .361 average, learned on Tuesday he had small fractures in two bones on the right side of his ribcage, the Rangers reported on their website.
But the All-Star outfielder said he hoped treatment would allow him to play four or five games at the end of the regular season.
“This close to the playoffs, I’ll be smart if I can get back in there,” said Hamilton.
“I already feel better,” he added. “We’ll know for sure in the next few days if this will help. The biggest thing is pain management.
“Swinging is not going to make it worse, throwing is not going to make it worse and running isn’t going to make it worse.”
New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has become just the seventh player in Major League history to hit 600 home runs after smashing one out of the park against Toronto on Wednesday night. (Yankees 11/4 with Stan James to win World Series)
The 35-year-old has become the youngest player to reach the mark and now has only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr (630) and Sammy Sosa (609) ahead of him in the all-time home run list.
Rodriguez joined the Yankees after seven seasons with Seattle and three years at Texas and was forced to move from his favoured position of short stop to third baseman as New York legend Derek Jeter had made the position his own.
But the change did not affect his batting prowess and the New York-born star continued to hit homers with regularity, with 54 in 2007 his best tally for a single season with the Yankees.
Toronto’s Shaun Marcum was the unfortunate pitcher who saw the ball fly back over his head and clear the centre field wall in the first inning on Wednesday, as the team from the Big Apple went on to win 5-1 to keep pace with Tampa Bay at the top of the American League East standings.
The Yankees are the defending MLB World Series champions, after winning their first title since 2000 last year, but are not having things all their own way in the race to win their division, with the Devil Rays (5/1 to win World Series) matching their illustrious rivals win-for-win so far this season.
With two thirds of the regular season now played, both clubs have won 67 games and lost 40, while the Yankees’ great rivals, Boston, are struggling to make the play-offs, with a season record of 61 wins and 47 losses.