Streaky a better fit for former Las Vegas 51 baseball playerJuly 19, 2011 3:00 AM by Mark Mayer
Edwin Jackson (pictured) truly fits our search for stories not mentioned in game reports and betting lines.
Jackson was once labeled "a can’t miss" by the Los Angeles Dodgers and pitched for the Las Vegas 51’s in 2003. He debuted for LA that year and beat Randy Johnson in his first start.
Since then it’s been some eight years of mediocrity (54-58 for five teams) and moments of grandeur (14 wins in 2008 for Tampa Bay, no-hitter in 2010 for Detroit).
Jackson comes off a complete-game shutout win for the White Sox over Detroit last Saturday. EJ is streaky so this could trigger a series of quality starts, which means we’re looking to bet him and the underachieving White Sox hard in the next few weeks.
• Boston reliever Daniel Bard is the best since Shakespeare. Bard has 20 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings over 19 appearances.
• Washington pitcher John Lannan has allowed 3 runs or less in each of his last 10 starts.
• Arizona called up Brandon Allen from AAA Reno. Talk about deliver! The 6-2, 235-pound slugger belted a 3-run homer to account for all the runs in a 3-2 win over the Dodgers last Saturday. All the talk is Giants and Rockies in the West, but don’t count Arizona out.
• The big reason PIttsburgh tasted first place in the NL Central is its success within the division. Case in point: An 8-3 record against the Houston Astros. FYI: The Pirates still have 6 games remaining with the Astros – Aug. 29-31 at Houston; Sept. 5-7 at Pittsburgh.
• Square holes in round pegs: Phils lefty Cole Hamels is 3-10 lifetime against the Mets. Giants lefty Barry Zito is 4-9 lifetime against San Diego.
• Joe Nathan is back at the Twins closer after Matt Capps blew his seventh save last Saturday.
The NFC East has been largely unpredictable the past three seasons, with the team carrying the longest division odds at midsummer finishing first. In 2012 it was Washington at 10 to 1, in 2013 Philadelphia at 5-1 and last year Dallas at 4-1.