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Late Season MLB Personnel Changes

   by Bryan Leonard - 08/25/2010

Changes take place on the baseball diamond daily. Players get hurt and go on the DL. Players get hurt and continue to play, which can affect their performance. Managers make changes in the field and in the batting order. Managers make changes in the starting rotations.
It’s essential for the sports bettor to keep up on these changes. The Cubs just abandoned ship, trading Derek Lee to the Braves, who just lost Chipper Jones. The Red Sox have had a string of injuries seemingly all season, and this last week has been real bad, putting Dustin Pedroia on the DL again, one week after losing Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron. Throw in the loss of Kevin Youkalis and that’s four opening day starters gone. Did you notice the Red Sox falling behind at home this week to Toronto, 15-0?
The Cubs traded first baseman Derrek Lee to the Braves on Wednesday, and Lee thoroughly enjoyed his Braves debut on Friday against his former team, despite going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Lee, who struck out in the ninth after Martin Prado's leadoff walk, wore a big smile afterward as he talked enthusiastically about his first day with his new team.
With the Braves trailing by a run and down to their last strike in the ninth inning, Ankiel hit a two-out, bases-loaded triple to lift them to a thrilling 5-3 win in a series opener against the Chicago Cubs. "It seems like we do it over and over," said Ankiel, whose hit off Cubs closer Carlos Marmol sent the Braves to a majors-leading 22nd win in their final at-bat -- four more than any other team.
One needs to keep pace with changes and how they might affect a team. A year ago the Dodgers got outfielder Ethier back in the lineup after a trip to the DL. He was their best offensive player, a huge cog in the No. 3 or 4 spot in the order.
This season, the Dodgers haven’t given up yet by acquiring Ted Lilly, an underrated veteran lefty who is very good. He was at it again Thursday night, pitching a masterful complete game, shutting out the Colorado Rockies on two hits in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory. He struck out a season-high 11 and walked two. As a Dodger, he lowered his earned-run average to 1.29. It was his third career shutout.
And remember, September call-ups are just around the corner, which can also change the dynamics of late season baseball wagering. History is dotted with great team comebacks, too: The 1964 St. Louis Cardinals were 11 games back on Aug. 23, and with the Phillies' infamous collapse, went 27-11 down the stretch. They came back to win the pennant and the World Series.
-- In 1969, the Amazin' Mets were 10 games out on Aug. 13, finished 38-11 and went onto win it all.
-- The 1978 Yankees were nine back on Aug. 13, finished 38-11 and captured the World Series.
-- The Angels were up on the 1995 Mariners by 11½ games on Aug. 24. It was some collapse by the Angels, but the Mariners did finish 25-11 to capture the division. Changes occur constantly in baseball, and it’s important to keep tabs and see if that is correlating to any spread marks, such as wins, losses, overs and unders.

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