Betting Baseball: The Nats are Slight Favorites on the Road at Philidelphia

Washington Nationals (-117) at Philadelphia Phillies (+108, 8.5 O/U )

Right-hander Dan Haren takes the mound tonight for the road team Washington Nationals. He is 4-8 on the year with a 5.70 ERA. Haren took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits — including two home runs — with six strikeouts in five innings against the Rockies on Tuesday. The Nationals are 4-9 in games started by him. The Philadelphia Phillies will send left-hander John Lannan out as their starter; he has a 2-1 record so far in 2013. Lannan, a former Nationals player who spent eight years with Washington, rejoins the Phillies rotation after going on the disabled list April 18 with a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee. He had pitched well in his first two starts before getting injured in the third. The Phillies are 2-1 in games started by him.

“With the injury, every day you look for something that got better from the day before,” Lannan said after a rehab start for Double-A Reading on Wednesday. “It felt much better than it did the last time out.

“I’ve been honest the whole process and I think I’m ready.”

The game time temperature will be 81°F with winds blowing out to center field at 10 mph. The humidity will be around 58%. No rain is expected in this game.

Washington Nationals versus Lannan: 28 years old left-hander, 6’4” 215 pounds. Throws: fastball, changeup, slider, curve

Runs per game (league ranking), 27 (3.48 per game) : Home Runs, 17 (28 HRs)

    Bat Ave, 28 (.230) : OB%, 27 (.293) : Slugging, 23 (.383)

      Walks, 19 (2.8 per game) : Strikeouts, 10 (7.8) : Stolen Bases, 20 (12 SBs)

      Last seven games, 5 (.834 OPS) : Last 14 games, 18 (.710 OPS) : Last 28 games, 25 (.672 OPS)

        Versus Righties, 19 (.708 OPS) : Versus lefties, 30 (.577 OPS)

          Home, 22 (.703 OPS) : Away, 28 (.648 OPS)

            1st Inning Production, 24 (.670 OPS)

              Facing a Power Pitcher, 26 (.581 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 21 (.743 OPS)

                Facing a fly ball pitcher, 17 (.715 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 9 (.752 OPS)

                  Run Production at Night, 25 (.679 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 27 (.667 OPS)

                    First five innings, 20 (.720 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 29 (.574 OPS)

                      Philadelphia Phillies versus Haren: 32 years old right-hander, 6’5” 215 pounds. Throws: fastball, cutter, splitter, curve

                      Fly Ball Pitcher

                      Runs per game (league ranking), 23 (3.69 per game) : Home Runs, 22 (24 HRs)

                        Bat Ave, 17 (.246) : OB%, 25 (.303) : Slugging, 24 (.382)

                          Walks, 25 (2.6 per game) : Strikeouts, 14 (7.4) : Stolen Bases, 14 (14 SBs)

                          Last seven games, 17 (.703 OPS) : Last 14 games, 16 (.724 OPS) : Last 28 games, 19 (.700 OPS)

                            Versus Righties, 29 (.672 OPS) : Versus lefties, 7 (.755 OPS)

                              Home, 19 (.719 OPS) : Away, 25 (.671 OPS)

                                1st Inning Production, 20 (.733 OPS)

                                  Facing a Power Pitcher, 29 (.540 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 17 (.753 OPS)

                                    Facing a fly ball pitcher, 26 (.670 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 9 (.752 OPS)

                                      Run Production at Night, 22 (.694 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 23 (.687 OPS)

                                        First five innings, 23 (.710 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 25 (.657 OPS)

                                          Miami Routed but Heat Still Favored to Take Title

                                          San Antonio put on a show in its last home game of the season on Sunday night, but Miami is still favored to sweep the final two games of the series and win the NBA title. The Heat are seven point favorites for game six, and -140 favorites to win both game six and game seven.

                                          The Heat have shown composure following a loss, winning and covering in 12 straight games coming off a defeat, a streak going back to January 8 and 10 – the last time they lost back-to-back games. Coach Erik Spoelstra talks about game five and Miami’s trip back home down 3-2 in the series.

                                          On the Spurs run to put the game away:

                                          COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Yeah, I mean once we got it back to one and we felt that we had weathered the storm, then we missed a couple of shots that we normally are accustomed to making, and then it just snowballed down the hill from there. And we couldn’t control it. I think it was a 19-1 run after that point. And so we just didn’t show the mental resolve that we needed to at that point. It snowballed. After we missed a couple of lay-ups, a couple of fast breaks, then it turned into a five-point swing right away. Missed lay-up, three going the other way. That type of thing. And then we just couldn’t recover from there.

                                          On Manu Ginobili starting the game for San Antonio:

                                          SPOELSTRA: No. I anticipated that he would probably start or at least play a significant amount. He was very good. Not only Ginobili, but basically everybody on their team was taking turns off the dribble, getting by us and breaking down our defense.

                                          On being unable to stop Danny Green:

                                          SPOELSTRA: That will be something that we have to correct, and we just got to do it better. Got to do it harder, and be more committed. He’s getting some open looks, and he’s making some contested looks. But the open looks are the ones that are killing us.

                                          On going home down 3-2 in the series:

                                          SPOELSTRA: You fight for that home court. Our focus now, which is what we wanted to do in this game and we were a far cry from it, is to focus on playing our best game. Can we put together our best game on both sides of the floor in Game 6. We do feel good that we’re going home for that game. But we’ve got to earn back that home court. And so our focus is only on the next game.

                                          On the inconsistency of his point guards, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole:

                                          SPOELSTRA: They have had their moments where they’ve played well. Game 6 could be a different story. Different guys will step up at different times. And you just have to read the game. We’re looking forward to going home, and that’s all the talk we had in the locker room is, can we put together our best game for Game 6?  Guys are looking forward to playing in front of our fans.

                                          Blackhawks at Boston: Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville Discusses the Playoffs So far

                                          The battle for the Stanley Cup heads to Boston tonight, with the Chicago Blackhawks +112 underdogs against the home town Bruins. Boston bounced back after suffering a hard-luck 4-3 loss in triple-overtime in game one as Daniel Paille scored the winner in the extra session for a 2-1 victory on Saturday. Tuukka Rask weathered a furious first-period storm to finish with 33 saves in the victory.

                                          Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville talks about the upcoming game three and the series so far:

                                          About Chicago’s 0-3 record in game threes of this year’s playoffs:

                                          COACH QUENNEVILLE: We played pretty well in Detroit when it was 1-1 in the series. We had a 2-0 lead in Minnesota. In L.A. maybe we were comfortable with the situation coming off two nice wins. I thought Detroit got our attention after game two. It was one of those games could have gone either way. Certainly that’s got to be our approach going into tomorrow’s game, desperate, something to prove. We’re not happy with the ending. We have to be better.

                                          On the Blackhawks struggling power plays (just seven goals in 57 chances in the playoffs this season):

                                          COACH QUENNEVILLE: We got to play our game. At the same time we felt the power play struggled, got ignited in the Detroit series, got us going. I think you got to expect at some point you’re looking for some production there. I know that both sides, they’re looking for their power play to get some production because there’s not a lot of high?quality chances five?on?five. But at the same time we got to look to, you know, maybe simplify it and play anything at the net, the second and third opportunities around there. The pretty plays aren’t there. If we think the pretty plays are there with power plays, they evaporate quickly.

                                          On the difficulties of the Bruins being a physical team:

                                          COACH QUENNEVILLE: It’s hard to gauge. I know you look at the hit sheet game to game, I think we’re always on the underside of it by whatever number or margin. You got certain guys that are more physical than others. I think we got to be harder to play against than we were last night. Game one is more representative of how we have to play to be successful. As long as we are not deterred in where we have to travel to be successful is something we’ll talk about. Boston, they’re a big team. At the same time we can’t get distracted knowing if we get out?hit, it makes a difference. Our guys have to travel, whether it’s to the net or first to pucks, we got to be there.

                                          On the challenges of being down tied 1-1 in the series and on the road:

                                          COACH QUENNEVILLE: We’re extremely excited about the challenge. I think it’s a great challenge. We went into Detroit, knew we had to win a game. We put ourselves in a tough spot there. We’re excited about being on the road. We haven’t been on the road in a bit.  The next couple games are back?to?back. With a day’s rest, we like playing hockey. With those extra days, we like to get back out there and play. Let’s play our game, play to our strengths. We’re excited about the challenge.

                                          On what Boston did to change the game two momentum after Chicago dominated the first period of play:

                                          COACH QUENNEVILLE: I don’t know whether it was what they did or what we didn’t do. Might have played a part in us getting slowed down in the middle of the ice. The neutral zone, the way they check, defend, they’re very patient in that area. Trying to make plays in there only plays into their favor. Let’s make sure there’s a purpose when we do go through the middle of the ice.

                                          On what it is going to take to win the series:

                                          COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think that you want to stay to your game plan and you want to make sure you’re patient and have a purpose behind how you play, consistency in your team. Depth of your team is going to be important as well. We want to make sure we’re using everybody and contribute in the right way. We always talk about this rhyme or reason, how we play without the puck. To me that’s going to be very important as we go along in the series.