Midweek Baseball and NFL Updates

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OUR JIM SEZ MID-WEEK MLB & NFL UPDATES

WHAT STARTING PITCHERS HAVE REALLY BURIED THEIR BACKERS THIS 2012 SEASON?...

PLUS MORE NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM CAPSULES AS WE BRING YOU THE BENGALS, BROWNS & COWBOYS

By Jim Hurley:

No doubt that a great deal of this here-and-now 2012 Major-League Baseball season has been all about the celebration of star pitchers such as New York Mets righty R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.66 ERA), Los Angeles Angels RHP Jered Weaver (11-1, 2.26) and Washington Nationals lefthander Gio Gonzalez (12-3, 2.92) - and good for them and good for the"revival" of pitching back in the bigs but what about the"dark side" of this year's MLB starting pitchers?

You know, the folks that have toasted bettors' bucks this year through the season's first three-and-a-half months.

Well, in today's jam-packed edition of Jim Sez we are bringing you the starting pitchers who have really buried their financial backers this year and so feast your orbs on the names on this not-so-hot list and note we've added some comments to boot (note that the records listed below pertain to how teams fare in the starts made by specific pitchers):

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Henderson Alvarez, Toronto (5-13) - The Blue Jays righty didn't exactly catch any breaks in Monday's 6-3 loss at Yankee Stadium as the Toronto bullpen surrendered a Raul Ibanez grand slam in the home half of the eighth inning and thus another loss was added onto his TRBS (Team record Behind Starter) stat line. Still, the truth is the numbers don't lie and while the Jays are playing awful .278 ball in Alvarez's 18 starts this season the fact is Toronto's 0-6 in the righthander's home night starts and 3-10 overall in his under-the-lights starts. So, you have been forewarned!

Jonathan Sanchez, Kansas City (3-9) - The one-time no-hit author for the San Francisco Giants has been painfully dreadful this 2012 campaign and Monday night's 9-4 meltdown loss to the visiting Seattle Mariners was rock bottom stuff as this lefthander allowed five runs in the top of the first inning. The latest Royals loss with Sanchez on the hill (they're playing .250 ball in his dozen starts this season) made KayCee's record a brutal 1-7 in night starts made by Sanchez (that's 1-4 at home and 0-3 on the road) and now you know one reason why he's been popped into and out of the KC rotation this year.

Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels (5-13) - The Halos' troubled righty has been a major mystery for the AL West gang this year and check out the fact that the Angels have a losing record in Santana's home day/night and road day/night starts as they're 1-2 in his home day starts and 1-4 in his home night starts while going 1-4 in his road day starts and 2-3 in his road night tilts. Ugh! The overall .278 winning rate in his starts might - and we say might - be the difference in whether or not Mike Scioscia's club makes it to the post-season this year. So, the $64,000 question now is when does he get yanked from the Angels' rotation? Note Santana's last win was back on June 16th (a 2-0 home triumph over Arizona) - now more than a month ago!
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Cliff Lee, Philadelphia (4-11) - Can you imagine that the Phillies have played .267 ball in Lee's 15 starts so far this season and suffice to say most of them have seen this NL East team in the role of betting favorites (and sometimes still big betting favorites)? Note that the Phils are a collective 2-8 in Lee's 10 night starts this year and Philly is a mere 1-5 in his home starts. The one-time Cy Young winner hasn't exactly been given great run support for sure, but that cannot be blamed entirely for this rotten record. Who would have believed that Lee's first (and only) win this year would have waited until the Fourth of July?

Jordan Lyles, Houston (2-9) - One thing about the Astros in the road starts made by Lyles is at least they are consistent! The NL Central club - which has won just 10 road games this whole season while entering Tuesday's game in San Diego - is a composite 0-6 in road games started by Lyles.

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco (5-14) - It's not often that a two-time Cy Young award winner gets on this"loser's list" but that's the deal for the Giants righty as SF has managed to win just 26.3 percent of his starts this year. The Jints are 4-10 in Lincecum's night starts and an ugly 2-8 in his road starts but note San Fran did win Lincecum's first post-All Star Game start with that wild 3-2 win in 12 innings against the aforementioned Astros last Saturday.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to crush the folks in Las Vegas with all the MLB Winners - so sign up today and get it all with Sides & Totals Winners. Just be sure to check in with us either right here online or else at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the daily and nightly MLB winners. The NFL Preseason is right around the corner with action on Sunday, August 5th, so sign up today for the full season, and get all the NFL Preseason Winners FREE!

NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM CAPSULES

Our Jim Sez NFL Team-by-Team Capsules roll on and today's menu takes a look at the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys:

CINCINNATI - The good news for the Bengals is that they come off their second playoff season the past three years but let it be duly noted that 10th-year head coach (yes, he's been there that long!) Marvin Lewis now ranks third on the NFL's all-time list of head coaches with the most regular-season games coached without a single playoff win... only Jim Mora (231 games) and Norm Van Brocklin (173 games) have coached in more tilts without a post-season win than Lewis who has coached 144 regular-season games (he's 69-77-1 all-time in the regular season and 0-2 in the playoffs).

Meanwhile, Lewis says he believes this year's crew is bigger/faster than recent Cincy editions and the Bengals' boss-man hopes it all translates into improved numbers on the offensive end. Last year's Bengals ranked 19th in the NFL in rushing offense (111.1 yards per game) and 20th in passing offense (at 208.8 ypg) and note the first offensive skilled player the AFC North club snagged in last April's draft was Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu but he was picked with the 83rd overall selection. Why did they wait so long?

CLEVELAND - The Browns are no doubt banking on last year's fast finish vig-wise (they covered their last four games in a row) to give 'em a jump-start on this 2012 NFL season.

Note that Cleveland - which averaged just 13.6 points a game in last year's 4-12 SU (straight-up) season - wants draftee QB Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) to get all the reps he needs this summer as everyone expects he'll be the starter over Colt McCoy but how about what's in front of Weeden as LT Joe Thomas is a keeper (of course!) while rookie Mitchell Schwartz (California) is slated to be the team's starting right tackle while keep an eye peeled on second-year starters LG Jason Pinkston and RG Shawn Lauvao as both are expected to make major leaps for second-year head coach Pat Shurmer.

The Browns play a pair of divisional road games in the first month of play - they're at Cincinnati in a Week 2 tilt and than play at Baltimore in Week 4 - and among the other really challenging road dates are games at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants (Week 5) and a tilt in Dallas (Week 11).

DALLAS - If you take a moment to review last year's Cowboys stats, you'll see one thing we found quite interesting en route to the team's 8-8 SU season:

The 'Boys scored only one more touchdown (39) than its opponents (38) and that simply does not compute when you figure that QB Tony Romo sported a lofty 31-to-10 TD/INT ratio. No question that Dallas would love to see its ground game be more productive this time around after the Cowboys scored only five rushing TDs all last year - their opponents only registered 10 rushing scores, for what it's worth. It gets one to think that maybe the Cowboys will try a bit more ball-control this year while helping to keep its vulnerable defense off the field more - a defense that was bolstered by the team's first four draft picks including gem CB Morris Claiborne (LSU) who was nabbed with the draft's sixth overall selection and already is on most folks' list to be the biggest impact rookie in 2012.

Hey, as long as we're talking schedules, than note Dallas plays five of its final seven regular-season games at home including a Turkey Day tilt against Washington and than a Dec. 23rd bash against the New Orleans Saints.

NOTE: Get more NFL Team-by-Team Capsules in the next Jim Sez as we bring you the Oakland Raiders and the Green Bay Packers

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