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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 12:03 AM

The dean of Vegas handicappers Kelso Sturgeon mentioned in a video at the bottom of the home page Monday that he was disappointed about this past weekend’s performance. Then, he promised that this week was going to be better. BOOM!

Here’s what’s happened since then on Kelso's major releases of 50 and 25 units…

MONDAY

50-units on New England (-7) over Miami…WINS 38-24

25-units on Tampa Bay (-145) over Baltimore…WINS 5-2

TUESDAY

25-units on St. Louis (-165) over Pittsburgh…WINS 6-4

WEDNESDAY

25-units on the LA Angels (-150) over Oakland…WINS 4-1

That’s a clean sweep of all the big ones. Note that Monday’s baseball overall went 2-1…Tuesday’s baseball overall went 3-0…and Wednesday is sitting at 2-0 with one late game out that will finish after publication deadlines. That’s 7-1 in the bases this week with one to go...and that 50-unit play on the New England Patriots that started off a new week in football.

Talking about getting the money! Congrats to all of you who have been winning with Kelso.

Football resumes Thursday Night by the way with the marquee matchup featuring LSU and Mississippi State on ESPN. Selections from Kelso and the rest of the VSM handicappers will be available this afternoon. If you’re a baseball fan, take care of business early because there are a couple of day games (including part of a write-in day-night doubleheader between Florida and Philadelphia).

Wednesday in the Pennant Races

*Boston fell Wednesday afternoon at home to Toronto 5-4. We talked yesterday about the suddenly dramatic race for the Wildcard spot in the American League. Boston entered the day with a four game lead over Tampa Bay. They finish the day with the same lead because Tampa Bay didn’t take advantage! The Rays lost in Baltimore 6-2 Wednesday Night (note, the Orioles were an underdog winner for Tony Salinas, who still has a game out as we go to press).

Boston’s mini-collapse has yielded records of 1-6 the last seven games, 2-8 the last 10 games, and 4-11 the last 15 games. They spent four months playing at roughly a 110-win pace…but the wheels have fallen off. Some of that is related to injuries. And, some related to hot bats cooling down. The starting rotation just doesn’t have the depth to win consistently when they’re not getting run support. That’s going to be a problem in the playoffs if Josh Beckett doesn’t fully recover from his ankle injury.

The New York Yankees hoped to expand their lead in the AL East in a late game in Seattle. A win would move their edge to five games, would drop their “magic number” for making the playoffs to six (see the blog entry from Tony Salinas that outlined the magic numbers for everyone earlier Wednesday)…and would drop their magic number for winning the division to 10.

*In the AL West, both the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels won Wednesday. Texas still leads by three games. Texas wraps up its series in Arlington with Cleveland Thursday Night. The Angels are off as they fly to the East Coast for a weekend series in Baltimore.

*In the NL Central, Milwaukee’s lead fell to 5.5 games when they lost at home to Colorado after St. Louis won this afternoon in Pittsburgh. That red hot streak after the All-Star Break for the Brewers ran its course. Now we have:

  • Milwaukee: 2-6 the last eight, 6-9 the last 15 games
  • St. Louis: 7-1 the last eight, 14-5 the last 19 games

It’s still probably too little too late. St. Louis has 13 games left, Milwaukee just 12. Both teams are off Thursday. Milwaukee visits Cincinnati this weekend. St. Louis has a tough challenge on the road at Philadelphia. If Milwaukee goes 6-6 over their last dozen…St. Louis has to run the table for all 13 games to catch them.

*In the AL Central, the race is over. Detroit lowered its magic number to one with a come-from-behind win against the White Sox Wednesday afternoon. Lock City. It's amazing that Detroit now has the biggest lead of any divisional frontrunner given how tight this race was just a few weeks ago. We were saying the same thing about Milwaukee recently, and look at what happened to them!

Be sure you’re back with us in the VSM blog Thursday as various Masters check in. Some notes on LSU-Mississippi State will go up in the morning from the Network Notebook. Do you remember what happened when those teams met last year in Baton Rouge? Some of the game stats might surprise you…

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