Hurley: 29-7 versus 24-8!

HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK

CAN YOU GUESS THE TEAMS CARRYING
THOSE RECORDS INTO TONIGHT'S ACTION?

by Mathew Hurley, Managing Editor

Talk about a clash of the titans!

We have a very interesting Interleague series in play right now that hardly anyone is talking about.

*It features two teams currently with winning records in their respective leagues...

*It features two teams with GREAT records in IL play...

*It features two teams who actually PLAYED AGAINST EACH OTHER in a World Series not too long ago!

*And, it features two teams carrying 'streaks' of 29-7 and 24-8 heading into the matchup.

The media is looking at Detroit/NY Mets because the Mets are having a great year and that's a matchup of two good teams. The media is looking at Dodgers/Angels because it's the battle of Hollywood. The media even has its eye on Atlanta/Chicago White Sox because the Braves are on a tear and the White Sox have gotten hot recently just in time for the IL battles.

Let's end the suspense...the game matching that combined 51-15 trend is Boston/Colorado...

*Colorado is 29-7 at home its last 36 tries in Interleague Play, as American League teams are way out of their element at altitude in Denver. This is a very tough adjustment that has always created a nice home field edge for the Rockies. It's an EXTREME edge against AL teams who only get to play there once every three years or so. You may recall that Colorado swept Toronto on this field early in 2010. The Rockies are 11-1 in Denver from 2008-2010, and 29-7 the last 36 going back to the middle of the decade.

*Boston is 24-8 its last 32 games this year, playing the best baseball in the majors for more than a month. After giving both Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees a head start, the BoSox are now neck-and-neck with those two teams at the top of the AL East. They are clearly championship material once again even though this was supposed to be a rebuilding year.

Sure, the media may be a bit tired of talking about the Red Sox. They just had a marquee series with Manny Ramirez and the LA Dodgers. The prior weekend saw defending NL Champion Philadelphia come to town. The Yankees must be getting jealous!

Let's not lose site of the fact that Boston isn't in the news because they're celebrities...they're in the news because they're absolutely on fire while playing some decent competition...

Most recent results:
1-0 finishing off a Yankees series
2-0 vs. AL Central leading Minnesota
2-1 at defending NL East champion Philadelphia
3-0 at then AL East leading Tampa Bay
4-3 vs. Kansas City and Oakland in a relative breather
4-3 at Baltimore and Cleveland in a real breather!
2-1 in the return bout with the Phillies
3-0 vs. weak Arizona
3-0 vs. NL West contender the LA Dodgers

There's your 24-8. That's 11-6 vs. the softies (that now seems kind of lame in comparison), but 13-2 vs. the Twins, Phillies, Rays, and Dodgers...with the win over the Yankees after two losses that looks to have springboarded a month of excellence.

Boston is getting up for its challenges needless to say. And, they're about to be challenged in Colorado.

*The Rockies have World Series revenge...

*NL fans always get sky high when the Yankees or Red Sox come to town for one of their rare visits. Note that Colorado swept the Yankees on this field a few years ago, when the Yanks were throwing ace caliber pitchers.

*The Rockies can't afford a poor series because they're in fourth place in the NL West even with their winning record this year. They're two games behind the Dodgers for third place, but are in danger of losing contact with the Padres and Giants if this isn't a successful series.

*Did we mention the altitude?! Breaking balls don't break. Fastballs that traditionally have movement lose their movement. A home team that knows how to launch fly balls on offense while forcing ground balls from its pitchers will be hosting a team trying to figure out how to adjust.

This is baseball. It's just hard to find matchups with THIS much going for them in terms of quality baseball. 27-9 vs. 24-8. Three days in a row!

The Red Sox-Rockies is one of three World Series rematches that are taking place tonight. In the illustrious 25-year career of Jim Hurley he's not only cashed the 2007 Series, but also 2001 (Yankees-Diamondbacks) and 1990 (A's-Reds). Click here to not only take a trip down memory lane, but to win real money TONIGHT!

 

Here are the projected pitching matchups:

TONIGHT: Lester (3.13) vs. Chacin (4.00)
WEDNESDAY: Lackey (4.53) vs. Jiminez (1.15)
THURSDAY: Matsuzaka (4.59) vs. Hammel (4.03)

Oh, we're sorry, we neglected to mention that THE GUY MAKING A RUN AT BOB GIBSON'S MOST DOMINANT SEASON EVER IS GOING TO BE PITCHING WEDNESDAY!

Finally, Ubaldo Jiminez will get some media coverage!

If you haven't been following Jiminez because you live on the East Coast, here's some of what you've missed:

*A 1.15 ERA almost three months into a season, which should be mathematically impossible. That's so far off the charts that Jiminez is pitching like he's from another planet.

*An ERA that low while pitching his home games in Colorado, the best hitter's park in the history of baseball! His road ERA is an even better 0.80 through nine appearances.

*A 13-1 won-lost record, which represents a decision in every single appearance. Who said the era of the 20-game winner was over? Jiminez may coast past that to 25 wins even if he loses a couple of runs in ERA. Again, this wasn't supposed to be possible.

*A 6-0 record in night games, with an ERA of 0.84. Amazingly, he's pitched more day games than night games to this point in the season. If he had a normal distribution of night games with tougher visibility his full season ERA would be even better!

*88 strikeouts in 101.1 innings, for a very high K rate of 7.81 per nine innings.

*A ground-ball to fly-ball ratio of 2.38 to one (extreme ground ball pitcher), meaning that if you're able to make contact, you're just likely to ground one to an infielder anyway. You've always heard announcers talking about the rare lethal combo of a strikeout pitcher who gets ground ball outs. Jiminez is doing that in the extreme this year, which is why he's so valuable in Colorado. You can't hit home runs if you can't get the ball in the air!

So...we've got a 27-9 trend crashing with a 24-8 trend...all the other intangibles in play we mentioned...and one of the most dominant pitchers of our lifetimes is going to be on the mound too. ARE YOU KIDDING?!

This last week of INTERLEAGUE action for 2010 is going to be quite a feast for fans and handicappers alike. If you'd like to make some big money while you watch, call JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK at 1-800-323-4453. Game day releases and packages can also be purchased here at the website with your credit card. Be sure to check on early-bird football rates. The NFL Preseason will be here before you know it.

Among the series we're paying most attention to this week because of handicapping indicators:

Boston at Colorado (obviously)
Detroit at NY Mets (Mets have been strong at home)
Atlanta at Chicago White Sox (two hot teams)
St. Louis at Toronto (Cards one of few NL teams winning in IL)
San Diego at Tampa Bay (interesting arms on the mound)
NY Yankees at Arizona (all NL teams love hosting the Yanks)
LA Dodgers at LA Angels (brutal IL stretch continues for Dodgers)

You're not going to be watching network re-runs...or 'America's Got People Desperate For Attention' on NBC, or 'You Think You Can Tippy-Toe' on Fox. You're going to be watching BASEBALL every night this week. Call NETWORK so you can win while you watch!

27-9? 24-8? Not only are those the records of great teams...those are the records of great handicappers! Sign up with JIM HURLEY to see what championship performance can do for your bankroll!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by VegasSportsMasters.com and JimHurley.com. For more information on JIM HURLEY'S handicapping packages, call 1-800-323-4453.

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