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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


When San Diego’s Eric Lauer takes on Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer in the Queen City tonight the Padres will do so knowing Lauer owns a 6.20 ERA away as opposed to a 3.17 ERA at home this season. Lauer also sports a 6.98 ERA in his last five overall starts. With Bauer 8-4 in his team-starts against lefties the past two seasons, we’ll take Bauer for $200, Alex.

Please Help Me I’m Falling

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell notes that that since the league went to its current standings and schedule format back in 2002, an average of six teams have made repeat trips to the playoffs each season, meaning half of the playoffs turn over from season to season. Just five of the 12 teams that made it to the playoffs in 2017 made it back to the postseason in 2018, and even that was up from four the previous season. He also reminds us that over the past two years he has identified 11 teams whose underlying statistics seemed to portend a coming decline in this column. Ten of those 11 teams have declined, while one – the 2018 Titans – managed to maintain its 9-7 record. The group has declined by an average of 4.2 wins from its prior record, and though 10 of the 11 teams had made the playoffs during their successful season, not one made it back to the postseason the following year. One of his targeted five teams expected to decline this season is the LA Rams. To read about this year’s entire not-so-fab five, click here.

Today’s 2-Minute Handicap

MLB – Pittsburgh: Williams 7.15 ERA with 1.73 WHIP L7 starts, and 6.11 ERA with 1.47 WHIP at home this season … Milwaukee: Gonzalez 6-1$ at night this season … Colorado Freeland 2-10 $ at night this season … CWS: Nova 5-0 $ with 0.49 ERA last five starts.

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