My Friday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
Today marks the midway point of Major League Baseball's interleague schedule with 126 games complete and 126 games still to come. The National League is finally showing signs of life this week after losing the annual series to their superior counterparts in each of the past seven seasons.

Over the past three days, National League teams are 22-10 in interleague play after going 38-56 through the first 94 games of their 252-game competition. Entering Friday's action, the American League this season owns a 66-60 advantage over the National League.

The trend of American League dominance is difficult to ignore, but I rarely consider league affiliation in baseball handicapping, preferring instead to focus on the basic fundamentals of run production and run prevention.

Similar to the 2010 MLB season, dominating pitching performances have been a theme of this season's baseball action, including some superb outings by pitchers in interleague play.

On Thursday's abbreviated five-game card, one team (Seattle) was held scoreless and three others (Washington, Oakland and Minnesota) produced only a single run. Jason Marquis and Michael Pineda hooked up in an exciting 1-0 pitchers' duel in Washington, D.C., while Tim Lincecum regained his Cy Young form by striking out 12 hitters in seven stellar innings on the opposite coast in San Francisco.

Shutouts are more commonplace today than any time over the past quarter-century as pitching and defense have returned as top priorities of general managers and scouting directors since stricter drug testing was imposed in the aftermath of The Steroid Era (1995-2004).

This season's total of 155 shutouts is on pace to approach last season's 329 shutouts, third-most in MLB history. Contrast those numbers with the 1999 total of 193 shutouts and you see a 70% increase in shutouts, thanks to today's drug-free play.

In a game where numbers and records are celebrated and cherished, baseball should view the scandalous Steroid Era as an indictment of what happens when shortcuts are taken, long balls are promoted, and money supercedes honor and integrity.

Chicks may dig the long ball, but true baseball fans deserve a clean game without pumped-up performances and artificial results.


A ROARING VICTORY....Rory McIlroy's demolition of last weekend's U.S. Open field and domination of the Congressional Country Club course in Bethesda, Maryland reminded some observers of Tiger Woods' epic performance 11 years earlier in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Some commentators went as far to suggest the 22-year-old McIlroy could be the next Tiger Woods.

"Easy," said EOG ombudsman and golf handicapping expert Arturo O'Connor, better known in Forumville as Viejo Dinosaur. "The comparisons are ridiculous. Woods is one of the best to ever swing a club and he's likely to retire with the most major championships of all-time, breaking the mark set by Jack Nicklaus (18 major victories). McIlroy is just a kid."

EOG radio host Barry Holthaus agrees with Viejo.

"Credit McIlroy for having the resolve to rebound from his Masters' meltdown and win a major in his very next try. But the jury's out on his long-term success. I would not predict greatness after one major victory. I don't think McIlroy is a one-hit wonder, so to speak, but the comparisons to Tiger are premature, to be sure."

The last golfer to be labeled "the next Tiger Woods" was Sergio Garcia. A then-19-year-old Garcia challenged Tiger Woods for the PGA Championship 12 years ago. At the time, people were saying a rivalry was born between Sergio and Tiger. The current scoreboard for major titles reads: Tiger 14 Sergio 0.


OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD.....Overtime is a bitch. For dedicated "dog" and "under" bettors, overtime becomes a nemesis in every major betting sport. Last night, I caught a tough loss when the Chicago Sky defeated the Connecticut Sun, 107-101, in double overtime. I had the visiting Sun +3.5 points and felt comfortable when Connecticut scored the first four points in the second overtime to take a 96-92 lead. Just after I whispered to myself, "I love the WNBA," Chicago hit me with a 12-1 scoring run and the futile chase was on. My handicap was solid, but the results did not follow my script.

There are four WNBA games scheduled for Sunday and I plan to post selections and analysis for the entire card late Saturday night/early Sunday morning in a thread titled "Sunday's Best." I plan to get back my money where I lost it (the WNBA betting board) before the week is up.


FRIDAY'S BEST BET.....Play the Kansas City Royals -107 over the Chicago Cubs (Chen v Dempster). K.C. will appreciate the drop in class after the Diamondbacks swept the Royals in a three-game, mid-week set at Kaufmann Stadium. Arizona is 15-4 in its last 19 road games. The Cubs, a team loaded with overpaid and underachieving veterans, will offer softer competition for Kansas City, a young, hard-trying club looking to snap a five-game losing streak. Chen has been above-average in seven starts this season and closer Joakim Soria is capable and well-rested.


COMING MONDAY.....A look at my July itinerary which includes a trip back to my hometown of Chicago (hoping to meet EOG contributor Timely Hero) and a two-week stay in beautiful Costa Rica.
 
#2
Re: My Friday blog

"Easy," said EOG ombudsman and golf handicapping expert Arturo O'Connor, better known in Forumville as Viejo Dinosaur. "The comparisons are ridiculous. Woods is one of the best to ever swing a club and he's likely to retire with the most major championships of all-time, breaking the mark set by Jack Nicklaus (18 major victories). McIlroy is just a kid."



VEIJO still on the Tiger bandwagon
 
#3
Re: My Friday blog

This John Kelly is one travelling fool, never witnessed an individual travel so much.

You live in Vegas for gawdsakes, stay more grounded sir.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#6
Re: My Friday blog

This John Kelly is one travelling fool, never witnessed an individual travel so much.

You live in Vegas for gawdsakes, stay more grounded sir.
I'll see you in late July, Fishy.

For the record, I have no trips planned between September 1 and the Super Bowl.
 

munson15

I want winners...
#9
Re: My Friday blog

Thanks for the pick, and GL, JK. I'm following on the WNBA and hoping for a turnaround, as you are. :btj:
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#10
Re: My Friday blog

Thanks for the pick, and GL, JK. I'm following on the WNBA and hoping for a turnaround, as you are. :btj:
When I think about your personal issues, Mike, it forces me to put my gambling life in proper perspective.

Hope your kids are well and never give up on your little brother.
 

JHU Dad

EOG Dedicated
#12
Re: My Friday blog

Tough loss, JK. Just like overtime can kill the unders, they can lay bad beats on underdogs as well. Keep picking them, the luck will turn around. Gl with the KC Royals and their renaissance man, Bruce Chen.
 

munson15

I want winners...
#13
Re: My Friday blog

John, I appreciate the empathy, thankfully I have diversions in sports and on the golf course to keep my mind off the major things in life.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#14
Re: My Friday blog

Tough loss, JK. Just like overtime can kill the unders, they can lay bad beats on underdogs as well. Keep picking them, the luck will turn around. Gl with the KC Royals and their renaissance man, Bruce Chen.

Renaissance man, I like the description.

Chen can be tough, at times.

I remember him breaking in with the Braves in 1999.

Lefties hang around a long time.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#15
Re: My Friday blog

John, I appreciate the empathy, thankfully I have diversions in sports and on the golf course to keep my mind off the major things in life.
Gambling doesn't get enough credit as an entertainment option and healthy diversion which allows people to escape their worries and troubles.
 

munson15

I want winners...
#16
Re: My Friday blog

I agree John, provided the player has a measure of self-control and discipline. The ones who get in trouble are pre-disposed by recklessness, greed and lack of a healthy fear of failure.
 

JHU Dad

EOG Dedicated
#18
Re: My Friday blog

Renaissance man, I like the description.

Chen can be tough, at times.

I remember him breaking in with the Braves in 1999.

Lefties hang around a long time.
He's smart...they call it "crafty" when it's a lefty. He did a cameo with the Mets in the early 2000's. Didn't hurt, didn't help. Hope to see you late next week.
 

minet123

EOG Addicted
#20
Re: My Friday blog

I have no insight or inside info in regards to Bookmaker's situation or operation.
Than why did you say you would ask on your last trip down to Ticaville oij213490
.....
Just busting your Rocks this morning,One of VD buds already confirmed what is pretty obvious but you did say several times you would PM me so i thogh I would take a free swipe at you :devil:
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#21
Re: My Friday blog

Than why did you say you would ask on your last trip down to Ticaville oij213490
.....
Just busting your Rocks this morning,One of VD buds already confirmed what is pretty obvious but you did say several times you would PM me so i thogh I would take a free swipe at you :devil:
I deserved the swipe.

Sorry, minet123.
 
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