Tagged in: Baseball

Yankees end 5-game skid, top Blue Jays

Deivi Garcia earned his first major league victory, Gleyber Torres drove in four runs and the New York Yankees snapped a five-game losing streak, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Wednesday night.

The Yankees had lost 15 of 20 and fallen to the edge of the expanded playoff field. General manager Brian Cashman had made a rare road trip to talk to the team before Tuesday night’s loss.

Torres and DJ LeMahieu homered to back Garcia (1-1). In his third career start, the 21-year-old righty gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked two.

Zack Britton worked the eighth and Aroldis Chapman struck out all three batters in the ninth. Derek Fisher hit a two-run homer in the second inning for Toronto, which had its three-game winning streak halted. Ross Stripling (3-3) took the loss.

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Luke Voit hit an RBI single that put the Yankees ahead 3-2 in the fifth and Torres added a two-run double. That gave New York multiple hits with a runner in scoring position; a welcome aid after the Yankees had gone 2 for 32 in that situation during their five-game skid.

Torres led off the second inning with his fourth homer and LeMahieu led off the third with his fifth. Clint Frazier added an RBI single in the ninth.

Toronto starter Tanner Roark permitted two hits and three walks in four innings.

The Blue Jays ended a stretch in which they played 28 times in 27 days, with the only day without a game being Aug. 27, when many games in MLB were postponed because of social protests.

Toronto went 18-10 during that stretch, impressing manager Charlie Montoyo.

“Other teams would just take a day or night off. It’s just too much, too many games,” Montoyo stated. “This team hasn’t taken a day off. They go hard every game. I’m impressed by it, and I’m proud of the way they play every day. They don’t give up.”

The Yankees have four matches left in their own gauntlet, in which they will have played 20 games in 17 days before an off day on Sept. 14.

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Miguel Sano cleared to join Twins after Covid-19

When the Twins got good news about Byron Buxton on Tuesday, it didn’t take long before the subject turned to Miguel Sano, ostensibly the Twins’ starting first baseman but without any practice since camp re-started because he rang positive for COVID-19 during intake testing.

They received good news on Sano on Wednesday when he was cleared to join teammates after two weeks of COVID-19 quarantine. He will work out for the first time since summer camp started July 3 this afternoon at Target Field.

Buxton, the elite center fielder whose Achilles’ heel has been his health, doesn’t seem at risk for missing too much time because of a left foot sprain suffered Monday. He’s been playing and has looked sharp at the plate and in the field.

Now the Twins must see if Sano, moving from third to first base because the Twins signed all-star Josh Donaldson last winter, can use the next week to get ready for the team’s July 24 season opener versus the White Sox in Chicago.

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He has played first base in major league games, but only as a fill-in, and hasn’t worked with teammates since spring training was canceled in mid-March.

“I think it’s more of a question if Miguel is ready physically to play, more than anything else, more than the question about playing a new position or anything in particular,” manager Rocco Baldelli stated after Tuesday’s intrasquad game.

During intake testing, Sano and utility man Willians Astudillo were the only Twins major leaguers to test positive for the coronavirus that has killed more than 134,000 Americans, and has been spreading in the U.S. at a record-setting pace the past few weeks.

Because Sano has registered consecutive negative test results, he was cleared to play on Wednesday. Like Buxton, another first-round draft pick who has shown bursts of greatness, Sano has had trouble staying on the field. A 7.8-WAR player and an all-star in 2017, Sano has played more than 100 matches twice in five seasons, and never as many as 120.

In 2018, he was sent to Fort Myers, Fla., in midseason to get into better shape.

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Latest hearing on when could MLB actually start

Over the past two weeks, as states have started to plan their reopenings, nearly everyone along the decision-making continuum — league officials, players, union leaders, owners, doctors, politicians, TV power brokers, team executives — has grown increasingly optimistic that there will be baseball this year, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The season could still take many forms with games starting in front of empty stadiums still very likely when play does reopen.

Major League Baseball and its players are increasingly focused on a plan that could allow them to start the season as early as May and has the support of high-ranking federal public health officials who believe the league can safely operate amid the coronavirus pandemic, sources told ESPN.

The plan, sources said, would dictate that all 30 teams play games at stadiums with no fans in the Phoenix area, including the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field, 10 spring training facilities and perhaps other nearby fields.

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Players, coaching staff and other essential personnel would be sequestered at local hotels, where they would live in relative isolation and travel only to and from the stadium, sources said. Federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Institutes of Health have been supportive of a plan that would adhere to strict isolation, promote social distancing and allow MLB to become the first professional sport to return.

Rob Manfred said after a conference call with all 30 teams that Major League Baseball will push back Opening Day until mid-May at the earliest after the federal government recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

There are folks at the team level who think that a return in June might be possible but, in the end, may be an optimistic projection.

The realities of the federal and state main directions and the calendar of baseball preparation supports that: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just recommended having no crowds of greater than 50 for the next eight weeks — and assuming that MLB and the players’ association would respect that direction (and there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t), that would mean that spring training wouldn’t resume until mid-May, at the earliest.

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Learn to bet on Baseball | How to Bet on Sports

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During the summer months baseball takes center stage, offering sports bettors a variety of unique wagering opportunities. And baseball lines are available daily, allowing both novice and hardcore sports betting fans to get in on the action with moneylines, totals, runlines, and futures

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Moneylines

Moneyline means you are betting who will win the baseball game Straight Up (SU) without a point spread. The team that wins the game wins the wager. The team with the negative sign (i.e. Philadelphia -115) is usually the favorite.

New York Yankees -150

Boston Red Sox +140

Totals

Total The Total betting line is also referred to the Over/Under Total and in this example it is 8½ O -120. For you to win your wager the Total runs from both teams would have to be 9 runs or more. The payout odds of -120 odds means that for every $120 bet pays out $100.

New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox Over 9.5 (-110)
New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox Under 9.5 (-110)

 

Runlines

Run Line (RL) The Run Line in baseball is equivalent to the point spread in football and is always set at -1.5 or +1.5. You win the wager by covering the spread – or + the spread.

Team Moneyline Runline
New York Yankees -150 -1.5 (-110)
Boston Red Sox +140 +1.5 (+100)

 

Futures 

Baseball Future Odds Baseball and MLB Future odds are odds on a future event and not a specific game.

 

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Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

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Texas Rangers (70-62) at Los Angeles Angels (67-66)

MLB Baseball: Friday, September 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm (Angel Stadium)

M Perez (2-3) (5.15) vs. G Richards (12-10) (3.80)

The Line: Los Angeles Angels -140 / Texas Rangers +130

Over/Under: 8

Garrett Richards (12-10, 3.80 ERA) and Martin Perez (2-3, 5.15 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the Los Angeles Angels (67-66) and the Texas Rangers (70-62) at Angel Stadium. Action begins at 10:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 4.

Richards pitched 7.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs and striking out nine in an 8-3 defeat to the Indians. Mike Trout (.297, 84 Rs, 33 HRs, 74 RBIs, 10 SBs) continued his strong play Wednesday, going 2 for 5 with one run. Perez went 6.1 innings, surrendering three runs and striking out four in a 4-3 win over the Orioles in his last outing. Rougned Odor (.278, 39 Rs, 11 HRs, 43 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 5 Wednesday.

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The Texas Rangers are second in the American League West but are playing well and have first in their sights. The Rangers have won six of seven following    a 4-3 decision at San Diego on Wednesday. Cole Hamels gave up all three runs on eight hits and whiffed eight through seven frames in a no decision effort. Texas totaled nine hits and walked six times with Chis Gimenez going solo while Adrian Beltre doubled in Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder. Martin Perez draws the game one start against Los Angeles on Friday night.  Perez is coming off of a 4-3 victory versus visiting Baltimore where he gave up all three runs on seven hits over 6.1 frames.
The Los Angeles Angels are in need of a prolonged hot streak if they expect to pass Texas for second in the American League West. The Angels have won consecutive contests after knocking off Oakland 9-4 on the road Wednesday. Starter Andrew Heaney improved to 6-2 with three runs allowed on seven hits over seven innings which was easily enough for the offense that launched a 13 hit attack. Albert Pujols went 2-5 with a homer, three RBI’s and two runs while CJ Cron and David Freese knocked in two runs apiece. Garrett Richards toes the rubber against the Rangers for the third time this season. Richards threw the ball well in an 8-3 loss (ND) to Cleveland with three runs scored on seven hits in seven innings.

The under is 6-1-1 in Texas last 8 Friday games and is 11-4-2 in their last 17 overall while going  11-4-2 in their last 17 on grass. Los Angeles are 4-9 in their last 13 games following a win and  are 4-9 in their last 13 overall while going  4-9 in their last 13 games on grass. The Rangers are 7-21 in the last 21 meetings.

The Angels lead the season series, 8-4. The Angels have a 19-16 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they’ll be facing when Perez takes the mound. Richards (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rangers, who have a 47-38 record against right-handed starting pitchers.

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New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

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(espn.go.com)- As they look to keep fighting in the AL East chase, the visiting Yankees are hoping Masahiro Tanaka can continue to pitch well Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.

After missing three games at Atlanta and Monday’s 4-3 loss at Fenway Park, Teixeira was sent back to New York for further tests on his injured shin. The results weren’t positive as the first baseman will miss at least two weeks with a significant bone bruise.

Rick Porcello pitched great, which is what mattered most to the Boston Red Sox.

The New York Yankees won, which is what mattered most to the New York American League Baseball Club.

Porcello struck out a career-high 13 batters and walked just one in eight innings, but a two-run double by Stephen Drew in the fifth and a home run by Brett Gardner that wrapped around the Pesky Pole in the eighth was enough to give the Yankees a 3-1 win over the Red Sox before 35,077 in Fenway Park.

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Drew’s two-out double followed an error by rookie first baseman Travis Shaw, who allowed Didi Gregorius’ grounder to skip under his glove with Alex Rodriguez on first with a single. Drew hit a 2-and-0 pitch from Porcello, his first 2-and-0 count of the night.

Gardner’s home run also came with two out.

The Sox scored their only run on a double by Jackie Bradley Jr. and a two-out, opposite-field single by Pablo Sandoval in the third off Yankees starter Michael Pineda. Pineda gave up four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out seven in six innings.

The Sox threatened in the eighth against Yankees setup man Dellin Betances on singles by Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, but with David Ortiz at the plate and two out, Betts was called out for oversliding third base on an attempted double steal.

The call was reviewed by replay officials in New York, who issued the following ruling:

“After viewing all relevant angles, the Replay Official definitively determined that the runner lost contact with third base while the fielder was applying the tag. Additionally, the umpires on the field determined that the fielder did not push the runner off the base, a decision that is not reviewable. The call is CONFIRMED. The runner is out.”

Ortiz struck out on the next pitch to end the inning, and former Sox left-hander Andrew Miller struck out three batters in the ninth to register his 29th save. Miller has 73 strikeouts in just 47 1/3 innings.

The most recent Red Sox pitcher to whiff 13 or more or more while walking one or fewer was Jon Lester, on July 24, 2010, when he K’d 13 and walked one in a 5-1 loss. The last Sox pitcher to do so at Fenway: Curt Schilling, when he walked one and struck out 14 in eight scoreless innings in a 3-2 Red Sox win.

Nine of Porcello’s 13 strikeouts came on a called third strike.

What it means: The Toronto Blue Jays were up 1.5 games on the Yankees coming into Tuesday in the American League East and were tied with the Cleveland Indians as of this writing. If Toronto wins, the two teams will stay dead-locked in the division. A loss brings the Yankees to within a half-game.

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: espn.go.com

How To Play Small Ball Baseball

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Small ball is a term used by baseball announcers and managers to describe a reliance on advancing runners and manufacturing runs without needing consistent home run production. Bunting, intelligent base running, and fundamental hitting, such as hitting behind the runner, are key elements of playing small ball. Teams who use small ball often do not have the deepest offensive lineup and will look to produce a run in almost any way possible.

An offensive baseball strategy that favors situational hitting and baserunning tactics over pure hitting in an effort to make efficient use of scoring opportunities in any given inning

Small ball strategy in baseball focus on higher percentage ways of getting runners on base (singles and walks) and advancing them into scoring position (bunts, steals, hit-and-runs, etc) and manufacturing runs (sacrifice flys, squeezes, etc) . It requires precision, methodical execution and ultimately discipline.

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Teams may incorporate a small-ball strategy for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. They are confident that their pitching staff will allow very few runs, thus one or two runs may win the game.
  2. The opposing pitching staff allows few hits, especially extra-base hits, and small ball may be the best way to score runs at all.
  3. The team lacks consistent hitters and must find a way to score runs with few base hits.
  4. The team has several members who are very quick and are likely to steal bases, or go from first base to third base on a single.
  5. The team is in the late innings of a close game and a single run will tie the game, break a tie, or extend a narrow lead.

Most commonly, managers will switch to small-ball tactics while a game is in progress, doing so upon the convergence of a variety of factors including having appropriate hitters coming up next in the batting order and, often, having fast runners already on base. A team could also start the game with the intention of playing small ball but then change from this strategy at some point during a game, depending on circumstances, such as when the opposing pitcher is struggling or has left the game or when the team is ahead or behind by several runs.

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Hit & Run Responsibilities in Baseball

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The hit and run is one of the most basic offensive plays in the game.

Base Runner’s Responsibility

The hit and run starts with the runner on first base.Get your lead off of the base, and then take off for second once the pitcher delivers the pitch. Here are a few important points to keep in mind:

Make sure the pitcher goes home: If there’s a good situation for a hit and run, the opponent will know it, too. Be aware that the pitcher might try to pick you off. You’re not trying to steal the bag straight up, so an outstanding jump doesn’t matter all that much. It’s okay to wait an extra instant to make sure the pitcher throws home before you go.

Take a peek: After two or three strides, turn your head towards the plate and take a peek to see what happened. Depending on the outcome of the pitch, you may need to try for third base, slide into second, or stop and get back to first. Keep your ears open and listen to your coaches, but also try to catch a glimpse of the action.

Pick up your third base coach: If the play is executed correctly and the batter hits it on the ground, you may or may not be able to see the ball. As soon as you hear the bat make contact, look up and find your coach. He can see the play, so he’ll make the decision whether to stop you at second base or bring you around to third.

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Batter’s Responsibility

The hit and run is entirely predicated on the batter’s ability to hit the ball fair. How well he handles the bat and where he hits the ball will determine the play’s level of success.

Here are the most important points to keep in mind:

Don’t chase a pitch in the dirt: The general rule on a hit and run is to swing no matter what. Whether it’s way outside, over your head, or the nastiest curveball you’ve ever seen, you need to swing and get the bat on the ball to protect the runner.

Get on top of the baseball: your primary focus is to hit the ball on the ground. A fly ball might keep you out of the double play, but the runner will have to go back to first and the play will be wasted.

Hit behind the runner: This is where bat control comes into play. In most cases, the second baseman will take the throw at second base on a steal. As a result, when the runner takes off on a hit and run, the second baseman will have to leave his position to cover the bag. This leaves a big hole open at second base, which is the ideal place to hit the ball.

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: baseball.isport.com

How to Hit and Run in Baseball

Hit and Run in BaseballThe hit and run is one of the most basic offensive plays in the game.  With a runner on first base, the strategy calls for the runner to break towards second base with the pitch and for the batter to swing at the pitch, no matter where it is, in order to put the ball in play.The hit and run is often used in situations when the offense is trying to generate a spark of momentum. With the hit and run, it’s especially important to have a smart runner on the bases and a batter who can handle the bat.

The strategy has a number of objectives:

  • The runner’s break for second base, as on a stolen base attempt, means that one of the infielders has to cover the bag. This opens a hole on either the right or left side of the infield, increasing the gap for a ground ball to break through to the outfield.
  • If the batter hits a ground ball at a fielder, the chance of turning a double play is much reduced because the runner will already be part way to second base when the ball is hit.
  • If the ball is hit safely, the runner will likely advance an extra base because he is already running.

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Here are a few situations where it might make sense to hit and run:

  • To stay out of a double play: If there’s a good contact hitter at the plate, the hit and run is a good way to avoid a ground ball double play.
  • To get a jump on the base paths: You want to start the runner early, but you don’t trust him to steal a base. The hit and run is a good way to “protect” a runner who doesn’t have exceptional speed, since there likely won’t be a play at second base.
  • To advance the runner: Instead of squaring around and bunting to move the runner up, you send the runner early and try to hit the ball on the ground.

The hit-and-run is a very old strategy, dating back at least to the 1890’s. A variant of the hit-and-run is the “run-and-hit” in which the runner breaks as if for a stolen base and the batter has the option to swing or not, depending on the runner’s jump and the quality of the pitch (any time there are 3 balls, the play is correctly referred to as a “run-and-hit” as the batter can take without need to protect the runner). The “run-and-hit requires a good base-stealer and a disciplined hitter to execute properly and is not really any more advantageous than a straight stolen base attempt.

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Bunting Important Technical Skill In Baseball

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Whether you hit for power, hit for average, or have trouble hitting, you can always help your team in critical situations by laying down a successful bunt. Bunting can be used not only to advance base runners but also to surprise an opponent or to get runners on base against an extremely tough pitcher. Proper instruction in bunting is important because this skill, should be executed with little individual deviation in technique.

If you want to be a complete hitter that can help his team in any situation, you need to spend the time necessary to become a good bunter. Good technique and practice is all that’s required to become a quality bunter.

Bunting Situations

Runner on First: Late in a game a sacrifice bunt is used to move the runner into scoring position.

Runner on Second: A good way to get a runner home from second without the benefit of a base hit is to have the runner at second steal third on a bunt.

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Here some tips to bunting

Set your bat angle: Get in your regular batting stance The motion for the bunt is simply to spin on your back leg like a normal baseball swing.

The bat angle is for the barrel to be higher than your hands.  If you do it the other way around, you’ll probably pop the baseball up in the air.

Hand Position: Your top hand is a little higher than normal, about where the label is.  The bottom hand stays down by the knob.  If you bring your hands closer together, like some people like to do, then you won’t have as much control over the bat.

Head Position: You want your head behind the barrel so that you can see both the baseball bat and the baseball in your line of vision.

Start High, use your legs to get lower: Start with the bat at the top of the strike zone.  If the throw is lower, than you will use your legs to adjust.  Keep your head and hands in the proper position and use your legs to drop your body as needed.  If the ball is above your bat, then you know it is outside of the strike zone.

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