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Sunday Night Baseball Preview

   by ASA - 08/24/2008

LAD: 64-62 (26-32 away)
PHI: 68-58 (34-27 home)

Kuroda (7-9 3.97 ERA) vs. Blanton (6-12 4.87 ERA)

This weekend’s game of the week on ESPN features two second-place
teams in their respective divisions. The LA Dodgers are 2 games
behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the West and the Philadelphia
Phillies are 1.5 games behind the East leading Mets. So it goes
without saying that this is a huge series for both teams as it nears
the end of August and every win is more important than ever.

Neither of the two teams will be sending their strongest pitcher to
the mound on Sunday night as both starters have records under .500.
The Dodgers are sending right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (7-9 3.97 ERA) to
the mound to face fellow right-hander Joe Blanton (6-12 4.87 ERA)
of the Phillies.

Kuroda has faced the Phillies once this season and shut down their
powerful offense going 7 innings, allowing 2 hits and gave up 1 ER
while striking out 7 on the way to a win. But overall Kuroda has
struggled on the road this season where he is 2-7 with a 4.75 ERA,
and teams are batting a scorching .290 against him.

Joe Blanton was acquired by the Phillies in the middle of June to add
some depth to their pitching rotation, and he’s done a solid job as
the Phillies have gone 4-2 in games that Blanton has started;
however, he only has one decision in those 6 games (1-0). Blanton
faced the Dodgers on August 13th and had little success. He lasted
just 5 innings allowing 4 earned runs off of 9 hits and walking
three. Opposing right-handed batters are hitting .311 against Blanton
and it just so happens that the Dodgers are a right-hand dominated
team, occasionally batting 7-8 right-handers in their starting
line-up.

The Phillies will be looking for revenge against the Dodgers as LA
took a 4 game sweep from the Phillies last week. All 4 wins were by a
combined 6 runs. LA is 2-6 in their last 8 road games this season.

Total bettors should note that the Phillies have averaged 4.2 runs
per game last 10 overall. L.A. has fared a little worse by scoring
just 3.7 runs per game in that same span. In the last series between
these two teams they combined for 32 total runs or 8 per game. Two
stayed ‘under’ and two went ‘over’ the total.

Enjoy the game and best of luck with your wagers on Sunday...Lee

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