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Tuesday, August 15

   by Larry Ness - 08/15/2006

While the 53-64 Cleveland Indians open Tuesday's play with MLB's longest active winning streak (six straight), the LA Dodgers remain MLB's hottest team. The Dodgers beat the Marlins last night 4-2, giving them their fifth straight win and 16th in their last 17 games. Over the last 10 years, the only National League team to win 16 of 17 was the 2000 Braves, who did it in April and May.

My free play is on the Oak A's over the Sea Mariners at 10:05 ET. After winning with the Rockies last night (on an 11-6 mini-run with MLB single-game releases since 8/5), I'm again releasing just one play for Tuesday's busy schedule. However, it's a HUGE one, my Oddsmaker's Error Game of the Year! Don't miss out.

LA has posted a 2.40 ERA over its 17-game run, as Dodger starters have gone at least six innings in 15 of the 17 games. Not typically known as a team of hitters, LA also opens the day leading the NL in batting average at .279 (Cards are second at .272) and on-base percentage (.351). Tied with the Dodgers at five straight wins are the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox, who beat the Royals last night 12-2.

The Devil Rays own MLB's longest active losing streak with six straight losses (all came last week on the road) and will host the Blue Jays tonight at 7:15 ET. Both the Tigers (beat the Red Sox 7-4) and the Giants (beat the Padres 1-0) won last night, ending their five-game losing streaks. For Detroit, it ended the team's longest slide of the season. SF's one-run win not only ended the team's five-game losing streak (Giants have won just four of their last 20) but also ended a nine-game losing streak in one-run games.

The Mariners and Royals both lost their fifth straight games last night. For the Mariners, it was their 13th straight loss to the A's this season, after winning the first meeting of the year with Oakland.That ties the second-longest single-season winning streak by a team against a division opponent since the advent of divisional play in 1969 (the Braves won 15 straight against the Padres in 1974). The Royals lost to the White Sox 12-2, after losing to the Indians on Sunday, 13-0. Over the last 10 years, only once has a team lost consecutive games to different opponents, each by at least 10 runs.

One final note for Monday comes from the Mets' 13-0 loss in Philadelphia. Pedro allowed six runs in only one inning Monday, ending his streak of 289 consecutive starts in which he lasted at least three innings. That was the longest streak of starts going at least three innings for any major league pitcher since Walter Johnson went at least three in 313 straight starts from 1911 through 1919. The last time Pedro did not record at least nine outs was on 8/9/96, when he allowed six runs and got only four outs in San Diego.

MLB offers a full 15-game schedule tonight, including the Angels at the Rangers (8:05 ET). I mention this game because the Angels and Rangers are the only two teams in MLB which own better road records than they do home records. The Angels are just 27-28 at home this year, while going 34-30 on the road. The Rangers sport a 30-30 home record, while going 31-28 away from Texas.

It should come as no surprise that the two teams with MLB's best records, the 77-41 Tigers and the 71-46 Mets, are also the most balanced when it comes to home and away differential. The Tigers are exactly 18 games above .500 both at home and on the road (37-19 at home / 40-22 on the road).The Mets are 13 games over .500 at home (35-22) and 12 games over .500 on the road ((36-24). Below are the five teams with the greatest discrepancies in their home and away records.

The Pirates lead the list (35 games different), followed by the Devil Rays (30), the Brewers (28), the Twins (25) and the Royals (23). Pittsburgh is 32-28 at home (plus-4) and 14-45 on the road (minus-31). The D'Rays are 29-26 at home and 18-45 on the road. The Brewers are 34-24 at home but just 21-39 on the road. The Twins own MLB's best home record (40-18) but are 28-31 on the road. The Royals are 26-33 at home and 15-45 on the road.

NFL notes

The Raiders and Vikings completed the first week of the NFL's preseason Monday night, as Oakland won 16-13 in a rather ugly game. The loss by the Vikings left home teams 11-5 SU and 8-7-1 ATS in Week 1 play and the 29-point game produced another under. Beginning with this year's Hall of Fame game, 13 of the 17 games have stayed under the total so far. Brad Childress lost his coaching debut, leaving the NFL's 10 new head coaches this year at 5-5 SU and ATS in their debuts.

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday at 1:00 ET.

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