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Tuesday, August 22

   by Larry Ness - 08/22/2006

The Cowboys made short work of the Saints last night (30-7), closing the books on Week 2 of this year's NFL preseason action. Drew Bledsoe was 12-of-16 for 156 yards and led Dallas to TDs on three of four drives, while backup Tony Romo went 6-of-8 (138 yards), scoring points on three of his four drives.

My free play for Tuesday is on the NY Mets over the StL Cardinals at 7:10 ET. My Las Vegas Insider win on the Reds last night makes me 8-3 in all sports since Friday and ups my current Las Vegas Insider run in MLB to 6-1 since Aug 5! Tonight, I'm right back with another exclusive Las Vegas Insider, as my ONLY play for Tuesday's busy card. Don't miss out!

The Saints did nothing against the Dallas first-team defense, failing to get a first down in three possessions. Dallas was the seventh team to score 30 points or more these last 14 games, after only the Jaguars (in their 31-26 Week 1 win over the Dolphins) reached the 30-point mark in the preseason's first 19 games.

Most 'players' should have cashed on the 'over' last night, although the game did reach 37 at many places. Counting the game as an over, nine of the last 14 games have gone over the total, after 15 of the preseason's first 19 games went under. Home teams finished the week 8-8 SU and ATS, after home teams went 11-5 SU and 8-7-1 ATS in Week 1.

With the win, Dallas joins the NY Giants for the longest active SU and ATS winning streaks in the preseason. Both teams are on runs of 5-0 SU and ATS. The Chiefs and Colts have each lost eight straight preseason games, with the Chiefs also going 0-8 ATS (the Colts are 2-6 ATS). Week 3 play begins Thursday with the Dolphins in Carolina to meet the Panthers at 8:00 ET on FOX.

MLB notes

After scoring 47 runs in winning the first four games at Fenway, the Yankees completed their five-game sweep of the Red Sox by winning yesterday's game, 2-1. The Red Sox hadn't been swept in a five-game series since the Cleveland Indians did it in 1954. The Yankees swept Boston in five games in New York in 1951 and at Fenway in '43.

The Yanks win now gives them MLB's longest active winning streak at five games. The Angels and Mets are right behind New York with four consecutive wins to their credit. Boston's five-game losing streak is MLB's second-longest active streak but they have a long way to go before they catch the Mariners, who have lost 11 straight games.

In other highlights from last night's action, the A's fell behind the Blue Jays after two innings, 8-0. However, they scored the game's next 11 runs and eventually prevailed 12-10. The eight-run comeback ties a club record and starting pitcher Danny Haren set an A's team record by allowing nine runs and still getting the win.

Detroit rookie Justin Verlander entered last night's game 0-3 with a 9.88 ERA this season against the White Sox but Verlander (15-6) got his first victory since Aug. 1, giving up five hits. Mark Fidrych, who won 19 games in 1976, is the only Detroit rookie with more victories than Verlander in the last 50 years.

The Tigers became the first team in baseball with 80 wins, the most they've had since 1993 - the last time they had a winning record. Detroit lost an average of 100 games the previous five seasons, including an AL-record 119 in 2003.

The White Sox and Tigers again headline the MLB schedule on Tuesday (full 15 games) when they meet in the second game of their three-game series in Detroit at 7:05 ET. Mark Buehrle goes for Chicago and Kenny Rogers for Detroit. Both are coming off their first wins since the break.

Buehrle had gone six starts without a win (he was 0-4 and the team was 1-5) while posting a 7.94 ERA before beating the Royals 5-4 last Thursday. Rogers had also gone winless since the break in six starts (he was 0-3 and the team was 3-3) with an ERA of 6.37. Like Buehrle, Rogers won last Thursday, 4-2 over the Rangers.

It's a meeting of 'hot' and 'cold' teams tonight in Seattle (10:05 ET) when he Yankees (five straight wins) take on the Mariners (11 straight losses). Jeff Karstens, a 23-year-old right-hander, will be making his major league debut tonight for the Yankees and Gil Meche goes for the Mariners.

Karstens was recalled Saturday after going 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA for Triple-A Columbus and 6-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 11 starts for Double-A Trenton. Meche threw six innings of two-run ball in Seattle's 3-2 victory at Yankee Stadium (July 19) and is 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts against the Yankees. However, he's lost three straight starts and hasn't won since July 14, posting an 8.10 ERA in six games since then.

Seattle was 56-57 before its slide and now sits at 56-68 and has dropped to 25th of 30 teams in MLB's "moneyline" standings. Seattle is minus-$1,207 (at $100/game) but still is way ahead of cellar-dweller Pittsburgh. The Pirates are 47-78 on the year and minus-$2,293 in the moneyline standings.

Interestingly, the Kansas City Royals, who at 45-81 own MLB's worst record, sit at No. 13 in the moneyline standings at only minus-$82! Don't think these moneyline standings create some odd twists? Consider this.

Boston's recent slump has them at No. 12 overall, at minus-$46. Boston record's is 69-55 on the year, 25 games better than Kansas City's, yet the two teams are just $36 apart in the moneyline standings.

Boston isn't the only winning team to be minus money against the moneyline, as the Red Sox are joined by the Angels (66-59) at minus-$137, the Blue Jays (66-59) at minus-$146, the Padres (63-62) at minus-$501 and the Cardinals (66-57) at minus-$805. The Marlins (58-66) but plus-$230 and the D'backs (62-63) but plus-$317 are the only two sub-.500 teams who are plus-money!

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

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